Jehovah’s Witnesses often base much of their religious authority on chronological arguments derived from the Bible. However, their calculations can be very different from what the vast majority of scholars have concluded. For example, one crucial date that the Witnesses point to is the destruction of the first Jewish Temple. The vast majority of scholars date this event to 586 (or 587) B.C. but the Witnesses claim it happened in 607 B.C.
Given these types of differences, it is little wonder that former J.W.s, such as David A. Reed, criticize the Witnesses. In his book, “Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses: Subject by Subject,” he points out the following.
“The people who are greatly impressed by the Watchtower material are usually those who have done little or no prior reading on the subject and who are therefore unaware of the extensive literature on Bible chronology available in church libraries and through Christian bookstores…. A closer look will reveal that the JW writers lack academic credentials, that they have done little or no original research, and that they have borrowed most of their material from non-Witness sources.
A characteristic difference is that chronological works found in church libraries and Christian bookstores often mention historical uncertainties and differences of opinion among scholars, whereas the JW articles tend to be one-sided and dogmatic. Questions that cannot be resolved by examination of available facts are resolved in the Watchtower writings by an arbitrary decree of the leadership.”